Thursday, September 30, 2004

Jon Stewart on Fresh Air
Today. You can check publicradiofan to find a broadcast. The Fresh Air page will have the broadcast later.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Rushdie to Speak at Emory
Salman Rushdie, in what is possibly his first visit to Atlanta since the fatwa, will deliver the Ellman lectures at Emory in October. Here's the news release, which includes a schedule. The topic of the lectures is "The Other Great Tradition." Novelists don't necessarily make great literary critics, and Rushdie sadly isn't even a good novelist any more. Nevertheless I hope these lectures turn out to be worthwhile. Given that the two famous South Asian literary critics in the U.S., Gayatri Spivak and Homi Bhabha, are brickbat magnets thanks to passages like this, Rushdie's plain style will certainly be welcome.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Free to Good Home
A copy of Wives and Lovers: Three Short Novels by Richard Bausch and an invitation to an exclusive book club meeting with Mr. Bausch this Friday at Borders Buckhead. I'm going to be out of town then so I can't go.

From his bio: Bausch has published eight novels and five volumes of stories. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper's, and numerous literary journals and anthologies, including the O'Henry Prize Stories, and Best American Short Stories. He was recently inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers and he won a PEN/Malamud Award in '04.

You can find Bausch excerpts online.

Full disclosure: The event is being organized by O the Oprah magazine.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Who Am I Really?
Andrew in Italy thinks that this is actually the blog of Chris Martin of Coldplay. See the link to me in his blogroll. Am I a reliable (but actually unreliable) narrator to him? Or vice versa? This is all much too postmodern for a simple man like me. Paging Andrew Ross, paging Andrew Ross...

Sunday, September 19, 2004

On Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds
Can someone explain why these things happen in The Birds?
a. The children are asked to go outside the school to protect them from the birds.
b. The man with the cigar is completely oblivious to the smell of the gasoline at his feet and then catches fire all over his body instead of just at his feet.
d. Melanie decides to go into a room from which she hears bird calls.
e. A report about the birds plays on the news exactly when Mitch turns on the radio.
e. A group of birds of different species has the intelligence to make coordinated attacks; and finally
f. Birds attack Bodega Bay.

This is the third consecutive Hitchcock movie I've seen with an preposterous plot and unrealistically stupid characters, the other two films being Marnie and Spellbound. I understand that most good fiction isn't plausible, but most implausible fiction isn't necessarily good. Unlike in other films, the most striking feature of the implausible bits in The Birds is that they are so visibly contrived. I think I am beginning to concur with David Thomson’s assessment of Hitchcock in Thomson's Biographical Dictionary of Film.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Jon Udell has created a bookmarklet generator that lets you jump from any Amazon book page to your local library's page for the same book, which makes reserving the book at your local library a cinch.

I created one for the Dekalb County Public Library and you can get it by dragging Dekalb County Public Library, Georgia to your bookmarks folder. And here's one for the Emory University Library.

This sort of thing just makes me happy to be alive...

Monday, September 13, 2004

Northside Atlanta Bloggers
Saturday's AJC has an article about bloggers in the upscale Northside. I only had time to look at two: Steve Huff's blog, which seems interesting, especially since we share a love of classical music; and Tony Simon's blog, which features a wry, unpretentious take on the denizens of Atlanta.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Pictures at a Different Exhibition
Instead of using the typical Ravel orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition, Leonard Slatkin decided to combine fifteen orchestrators. Particularly noteworthy is Emile Naoumoff's orchestration of Il vecchio castello, which left its eerie atmosphere around me long after the piece was over. A part of Stokowski's arrangement is included, and the conclusion, The Great Gate of Kiev, is orchestrated by film composer Gamley. I'll leave you guess as to what he throws in. (Hint: he doesn't throw in the kitchen sink.) You can listen to this online until tomorrow here. Scroll down for more goodies. The program notes are here.
UPDATE: I wasn't able to post this in time because of Blogger problems, but the other proms concerts are still worth checking out, especially the Dvorak violin concerto with Chang and Mackerras.

Words of Advice
If you chop chili peppers, wash your hands, oh, about 20 times before you handle your contact lenses.